By Amanda Collins
An altar invites us to reconnect with the deepest parts of ourselves, for an altar is a window to the Divine. It opens the channels of communication to the world of Spirit. An altar offers us a space where we can ask for guidance and strength, express gratitude, tap our inner magic, set intentions, offer blessings, and meditate. By creating an altar, we connect the physical and the spiritual worlds. A home altar is not a necessity, though it does remind us to connect with Source throughout the day.
To locate your altar, find a space in your home that is private and where you will be comfortable spending time each day. You can place it in a meditation or yoga room, but I do not recommend placing it in the bedroom, for this is the place for rest and romance. If it must go in the bedroom, place a screen around it as it can be disrespectful to have sacred items facing towards your bed.
If your home has no private area, your altar can be placed in a special enclosed cabinet. Your garden could also become the site for your altar, thus inviting you outdoors to spend more time with Mother Earth. While sitting at your altar, it is best to face East, the direction of sunrise, which signals new beginnings.
When creating your altar, set an intention as to the purpose of the altar. It may be for connecting with your higher self, for abundance, love or healing, or it may be an altar related to all of the above. As you create your altar, keep in mind that the left side is the feminine side—the receiving side—and the right is the masculine and giving.
If you love to travel and like the comfort of having some of your sacred items with you, you can also create a traveling altar. Simply pack up a few ritual items in a small bag. You can also create an altar as you travel by adding special things that you find on your journey such as rocks, feathers, leaves, and tokens you purchase.
When assembling items for your altar, consider a table and tablecloth, spiritually symbolic spiritual things, candles, charms, incense, a magic wand, sacred texts or pictures that inspire you, and perhaps oracle cards to draw from when you are looking for guidance Also important are the five elements:
For Earth, add crystals, stones, sand, dirt from a site sacred to you.
For Wood, add flowers, greens.
For Fire, include a candle or incense.
For Water, add purified water, blessed water in a bowl.
For Metal, try metal items such as a statue, singing bowl, bells.
And Finally, for Air, use incense, sage, sweetgrass, or a feather.
Remember not to overcrowd the altar as this can create a cluttered mind, just as an altar that is too bare can represent a lack in your life.
To keep the vibration high and clear on your altar, include only items that you love and that feel in alignment with you. Changing the arrangement of items weekly and adding fresh flowers will keep the energy flowing.
Dust and wipe down the area around your altar, and use fresh candles, for burnt out candles could reflect that your energy feels that way in your life. Light your candles, incense, or sage regularly to keep the passion alive and flowing in your life as you visit your altar daily—and with love.